Introducing .. The Dream Fund

Introducing .. The Dream Fund

Something super exciting is happening here at GirlDreamer. Allow us to tell you all about it …

As a women of colour-led NGO, we know only too well of the challenges with funding and sustaining your organisations. When we first started GirlDreamer, funding and grants were something completely foreign and novel. We spent years navigating around the complex scene, trying to understand how it works, how to ensure eligibility and how to write successful applications. Over the past five years, we have received some amazing grants that has enabled us to do so much of the work we have done. And of course, we have faced rejections… MANY MANY times. All of this has helped us build some serious experience and valuable learnings which made us wonder if we were funders, what could and would we do to make grants more accessible? Because here’s the thing – the funding world is not a very diverse, inclusive or representative space. People of colour-led ventures are grossly underfunded and too often we’re branded “hard to reach”. We know there’s a funding gap and not enough is going to organisations like yours so we’ve decided to enter the space and play our small part in changing that.

Last year, the COVID-19 global pandemic hit hard on many small organisations, making it extremely difficult to secure grants and continue operating. However, it also gave us the opportunity to launch our COVID fund. Our dream came true when we gave out a small pot of funding (£10,000) to distribute to fellow women of colour-led organisations. The calibre of applications we received was unbelievably high and it was such an honour to support 22 amazing organisations and be part of their journeys. Since then, we’ve been working to figure out how we can do more of this. So, we launched our merch store and kicked off the Dream Kit collage. We’ve been pretty quiet with it on socials but the behind-the-scene work hasn’t stopped. We’re proud to say we have turned over a small profit with it in the first six months to kickstart our very own Dream Fund where we can support fellow women of colour-led groups and micro-organisations to keep doing the work that is contributing and changing the world. We believe women of colour are the leaders the world is sleeping on and we want to do our bit to support to ensure we can edge through this messy world. We’re starting small with £500 grants per organisation, but we’ll get there one day – mark our words!

The way it works –

  • The fund will open quarterly.
  • Four times a year, we’ll release £2,500 (unless we raise more in between, and in that case, the funding pot will be more) to fund five organisations with a grant of £500 each. In total, 20 organisations will be supported through the Dream Fund for the first year.
  • Applications will be reviewed, finalised and grants made within 4-6 weeks of fund closing date.
  • The funding is unrestricted – we believe you know where it is best spent for your work.
  • The fund is open to UK young women of colour-led small organisations/community groups with a turnover of less than £50,000
  • You do not need to be a registered/incorporated charity or non-profit to apply, but you do need to prove your work has a community/social/charitable benefit.

Please see the application form for more details, eligibility and ways to apply. You can find that here.

Our new fund will be overseen by our new (and amazing) team member and Head of Grants, Nina Ma. She’ll be your go-to person for all things grant related, so any questions, concerns or to simply say hello – is your woman! Here’s a few words from her:

“As the newly appointed Head of Grants at GirlDreamer, I am extremely honoured to take on the responsibility to select the organisations and distribute the funding. I am really excited to read all your applications and hopefully speak with many of you to find out more about your organisations and how we can support you, financially and beyond. We know from lots of experience that funding applications are long, make little sense at times and filled with language that can be hard to understand. We know you do great things and need the money ASAP to continue your work, so we promise we have tried to make this as easy as possible whilst still ensuring due diligence on our behalf. We really hope we can be part of your journey through the Dream Fund and we look forward to receiving your applications!”





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